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Governor appoints chair of ESSA task force to BOE seat

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Gov. David Ige has appointed retired public school principal Darrel Galera to the state Board of Education.

Galera spent nearly two decades with the Department of Education, including 13 years as principal of Moanalua High School, before retiring at the end of 2013.

Ige tapped Galera this spring to lead a 19-member advisory team that the governor has tasked with developing a “blueprint” he hopes will guide a transformation of the state’s public school system. The task group was assembled after passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which transfers federal control over public education to states when it comes to things like school accountability, teacher evaluations, student testing and support for struggling schools.

“Darrel has been instrumental in engaging the public all across the state to help build the blueprint for our public school system. His service on the board will help bridge the work of the Board of Education and the ESSA Team,” Ige said in a statement.

Galera began his career in education as a social studies teacher at Moanalua High School. He also served as a principal at several schools, including Castle High, Shafter Elementary, King Intermediate and Aiea Elementary.

A graduate of Waipahu High School, Galera hold a master’s degree in educational administration and bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies from the University of Hawaii.

Galera marks the governor’s eighth appointment to the nine-member voluntary board that is charged under the state Constitution with formulating statewide educational policy and appointing the superintendent of education as the chief executive officer of the public school system.

“It’s truly an honor and privilege to serve our students and schools. I’m inspired by Gov. Ige’s vision and plan for public education in Hawaii,” Galera said in a statement.

He replaces Jim Williams, who resigned from the board last month. In his resignation letter, Williams criticized Ige for a lack of confidence and support in the BOE and accused the governor of circumventing the state Constitution and law with his appointment of the ESSA task force.

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